"Institute of Ukrainian Studies" NGO
description of organisation
Institute of Ukrainian Studies is a non-profit non-governmental organization. The mission of the organization is to promote inclusive society in Ukraine by engaging people with disabilities to active social life and educational activities concerning the protection of their rights. In its daily activities our NGO organizes projects aimed at increasing cooperation with local youth, ensuring active participation of young people in local life, especially youth with disabilities and youth with fewer opportunities.
Annually we organize cycling marathon “I See! I Can! I Will!” which is aimed at fostering social transformation and promoting inclusion of visually impaired people as equal members of Ukrainian society. With a sighted person in the front and blind person in the backseat of the tandem-bicycle we travel around Western and Central Ukraine, organize press-conferences in cities on the way to communicate our key message – blind people are equal members of Ukrainian society.
"Sensoteca", place, where all senses matter, is the biggest project of our NGO. It is an informal inclusive space where everyone can find their own place regardless sex, race, religion, disability, gender identity, social status. The space is created in the local library #18 in Stryiskyi park. There we organize versatile events, for instance, intercultural evenings to spread multiculturalism and tolerance towards other cultures. We have already had Crimean Tatar, Italian and Armenian evenings. We also pay attention to self-development, for example, we organized a workshop on self-presentation, on how to use your voice and be more confident about it.
The other important part of our activity is Human Library. We believe that this is one of the best methods of spreading the message about Human Rights that is why we organize Human Libraries involving books from different backgrounds like volunteer with cerebral palsy, an HIV infected person, Paralympic champions, representative of LGBTIQ+ community and so on.
We also have partners among people with hearing disabilities and we have already made a joint project teaching participants of the workshop sign language.
What is more, we organize some inclusive entertaining events like MindGame or quests.
One of our volunteers teaches Ukrainian to the visually impaired pupils of high school as it is the most important subject at their finals.
The other volunteer who is a psychologist is responsible for art therapy for children with autism. We also lead art workshops for visually impaired pupils and pupils with autisms who study at elementary school.
Inclusive-IT is a project aimed at creating social entrepreneurship in the future based on checking websites for inclusiveness and thus providing visually impaired people with job in IT sphere. Now visually impaired participants are being taught English language and how to use information technologies - NVDA, Word, Excel - in Ukraine. Also, they are taught how to analyze Web sites including Wordpress for WCAG 2.0.
Regarding international department, we have partnerships in most of the countries in Europe and Caucasus. Our participants regularly take part in Erasmus+ training courses and youth exchanges.
Last year we started our partnership with Polish organization “Brailowka” and we have already had two projects bringing together mixed Ukrainian-Polish groups of visually impaired youth and youth without any disabilities. The main idea of the projects was to enhance intercultural dialogue between Ukrainians and Poles and to include visually impaired participants into international activities thus enhancing their motivation to work on the local level.
We have also started to work in the sphere of immigration and refugees. Together with Jugendhilfe und Sozialarbeit e.V. we organized a Ukrainian-German youth exchange the main method of which was Forum theatre. Participants of the project shared their knowledge and practices in the sphere of immigration, created joint video about IDP and also worked on Forum Theatre performance which was later presented in Sensoteca.
“Tour of tolerance” was a follow-up activity organized in cooperation with YEU International. The main idea of the project was to promote tolerance among Ukrainians of eastern and western part of the country. It was divided into two parts, first of which was a training course where 15 youngsters from the whole Ukraine discussed such topics as hate speech, stereotypes, and prejudices based on different criteria, the problem of IDP in the Ukrainian society. They also created a Forum Theatre performance to show the problem which IDP face in their lives. The next part was the tour itself, so we visited Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa and presented our performance there. As a result, 8 performances were staged in 4 cities of Ukraine, around 200 people were reached directly by the performances and far more were reached by social media.
This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:
|Inclusion category||Receiving projects||Sending projects||Coordinating projects|